HARRISBURG, Pa. — Penn State New Kensington was awarded nearly $200,000 in funding from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's Manufacturing Training-to-Career (MTTC) program, to create a hands-on digital technology demonstration and learning lab at the Digital Foundry at New Kensington.
“Digital technologies within the manufacturing industry continue to advance every day and manufacturers need qualified staff to support growth through modern operations,” said Wolf in a a recent press release. “This funding supports an innovative training lab in the state’s southwest region that can set up trainees to receive the certifications and credentials necessary to obtain a manufacturing career from a historic educational institution in our commonwealth.”
The campus was awarded $186,446 to support the development of facilities that enable the local workforce and students in combination with existing digital technology solutions. Training at the Digital Foundry at New Kensington is designed to address the world’s changing manufacturing and technology environment and the rapid digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic — providing increased knowledge and skills relating to digital technologies. This funding will be used in combination with existing planned investments and in-kind contributions from leading international, national and regional digital technology providers.
The mission of the Digital Foundry at New Kensington is to drive learning and problem solving through the application of technologies by focusing on education and workforce training; improving manufacturing competitiveness; and providing networking events to increase digital awareness for workers, businesses, academia, students and the community.
“Penn State New Kensington is pleased to work with the Department of Community and Economic Development to strengthen and accelerate our current plans for a hands-on demonstration and learning lab at the brand new Digital Foundry at New Kensington,” said Sherri McCleary, executive director of the Digital Foundry. “Work under this grant will support the Digital Foundry’s vision to 'improve lives and strengthen businesses through access to digital technologies' and help to bring a unique asset to the workforce and manufacturing businesses in southwest PA.”
Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 57 projects and invested more than $12 million through the Training-to-Career program. Training-to-Career grants support projects that result in short-term work-readiness, job placement or the advancement of manufacturing. The Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career program works collaboratively with local manufacturers to identify and teach missing essential skills for entry level applicants seeking manufacturing employment, engage youth or those with barriers to career opportunities in manufacturing, and or advance capacity for local or regional manufacturers.